Wednesday, October 26, 2011

diwali, light of love

Fireworks in front of the shala.

(Written yesterday, October 25)

Tonight, the fireworks start in India, launching the Festival of Lights, Diwali. In fact, it has already started. Here and there, fireworks breaking the peace of sleepy Gokulam.

We are blessed with rains today. In fact, it always seems to rain during Diwali—and thank goodness because it does slow down the compulsive need to be setting off fireworks, and has probably saved a great many people from burning down their own houses or injuring themselves.

Last year, I was here too, same as I am today and yet completely altered, same-same but different.

This year, the holiday resonates with me much more. I feel the high energy of the new moon. It is intense like so many of my experiences of late.

I also identify the holiday most with the story of Rama and Sita, which I read a few months back, from the great Indian epic poem the Ramayana, and how the prince and his beloved return to the kingdom of Ayodhya after 14 years of exile, and how lamps were lit to light their way home.

As someone who is far from home and who has a personal storeroom of stories of separation, I feel the significance of the story behind the festivities, a reminder of the light of love that beacons us home after a long exile, after a journey, and a battle. It is about returning to where we belong, taking our rightful place in the natural order of things.

Easier said than done, right?!

Later, I will light a lamp for myself, in hopes that it will guide me to what it is I truly seek, that this little flame will illuminate a world of love, possibility, and fulfillment, and that one day I will be able to not just be in the light of love but myself embody this light completely.

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